Four downs with Ditka
BY MIKE DITKA June 1, 2013 12:44AM
Updated: July 3, 2013 6:57AM
1. Besides the quarterback, which position will be most responsible for the implementation of the Bears’ new offense?
I think you have to look at the receivers, the tight end and the running back. I’m not sure how much of the running game will be incorporated into it, but I assume Marc [Trestman] will have a lot of balance in his offense. But the cohesion among the tight end, receivers and the quarterback is going to be essential. The timing is the whole thing. . . . I think they’re going to improve it by going to a little bit quicker tempo and getting the ball out of the quarterback’s hands quicker.
2. You were 15-5 as a coach against the Packers. How much will be made of Marc Trestman’s success against the Packers?
The media will do that. Do I think it’s the most important thing? No. You have to control your division to win it. Therefore, your primary games are two against Detroit, two against Minnesota and two against Green Bay. If you come out of those on the plus side, then you have to take care of the rest of the schedule and you should be in good shape. But you have to try and control your division if you’re going to win your division. That’s what the Packers have been doing. I hate to see any coach’s credibility based on beating one team. Plus, when you look at the Packers, you have to look at a pretty good football team. [Aaron Rodgers] might be one of the best quarterbacks I’ve ever seen. They do a lot of things well. Yeah, they have some problems, too, but you have to be able to find their weaknesses and work those weaknesses.
3. Gale Sayers turned 70 this week. Was he the most electrifying runner you have ever seen?
I hear all this crap about the greatest, but I just want to say one thing that I’ve said a hundred times: If Gale Sayers would not have gotten hurt when he did, I don’t think anybody would have broken his records — not only as a running back but as a kick returner and punt returner. Actually, he was so far ahead of his time, he would have been an unbelievable slot receiver. He did everything so well. His ability to run with the football was as good as I’ve ever seen. It was magical to watch him run.
4. As a golf enthusiast, do you think the USGA made the right decision in banning the anchoring of the putter?
I don’t do it, but I don’t know where you get an advantage from it. The USGA has tried to keep the rules of golf pretty uniform over the years. I have no problem with it, but I’m sure it’s bothering the guys who do it on the pro tour. It’s a drastic change to change the way you putt. Putting is probably the most important thing you do in the game of golf. You drive for show, but you putt for dough. Are they right in doing it? They have the prerogative to do it. I’m sure they’re right.